According to multiple outlets, the 14-year-old was found near his home in North Carolina on Monday, August 28, after his mother contacted police. “Jace was out roaming the property like he usually does,” Evans’ manager August Keen noted in a statement. “He went off to the gas station, without telling Jenelle.”
Evans, 31, grew concerned after not hearing from her son for several hours. He was eventually located at a gas station 10 minutes away from the family’s home.
Keen reassured Teen Mom 2 fans that Jace is doing “fine,” as is the rest of his family. “Nothing to be alarmed about,” the statement continued. “Jace is a teenager finding his independence, wanting a bit more freedom, and Jenelle is a momma bear.”
Monday’s incident was the second time this month that there were concerns about Jace’s whereabouts. TMZ reported on August 14 that the teenager was last seen leaving his school in a grey sweatshirt. Keen confirmed to Us Weekly one day later that Jace was “safely at home with Jenelle and his family.”
Evans told Us shortly before Jace was found that his phone was taken away after getting in trouble at school. “As a boy mom, kids can act up and rebel as I’m sure the majority of us all once did as kids too,” she noted in a statement. “Jace got in trouble at school, we decided to take his phone away and that’s when he decided to run off.”
She asserted that her son “is a good kid” and is behaving like any other teenager. “We’re not dealing with anything that most families don’t deal with while raising children,” Evans continued. “This has absolutely nothing to do with my situation with [my husband] David [Eason], we do not argue in front of our children or fight in front of our kids. This is a teenage boy being a teenager mad that we decided to take his phone away.”
Evans welcomed Jace with ex Andrew Lewis in 2009, and the episode of 16 & Pregnant documenting her journey aired in early 2010. She also shares son Kaiser, 9, with ex-fiancé Nathan Griffith and daughter Ensley, 6, with Eason, 35.
Us broke the news in March that Evans won custody of Jace after he was in the care of her mom, Barbara Evans, for more than a decade. “My mother agrees it’s time for Jace to be back with his siblings and living with a mother and father,” Jenelle told Us in a statement. “She also thinks it’s important for Jace to be around a father figure to learn ‘boy things’ and have ‘men talk.’ She has seen the way David parents my children and she knows we’re able to handle it.”
Following the custody decision and Jace’s first disappearance, tension resurfaced between Jenelle and her mother. Barbara alleged to TMZ on August 17 that Jace potentially ran away because Jenelle took him off of his ADHD medication when he moved in with her. At the time, Jenelle denied her mother’s claims.
“I have cut off contact with her as of 3 weeks ago,” she told TMZ. “Barbara doesn’t have any idea what is going on inside my home. Jace had a therapist appointment today on Zoom at 10:30 a.m. … she hasn’t even attempted to speak to Jace directly.”